What is FWDFA ™?







and it’s threatening our town!!


you must be fully prepared to make french toast if you cannot leave your house!


okay, more seriously, i am fearing a days-long power outage. we’ve made our preparations (which did not involve either milk or eggs, but did include a 40 lb bag of salt, which will last us for the rest of our lives, most likely, given the infrequency of ice storms in central NC).

if things go well and we just get a nice snow, i plan to try my hand at waffles made with a yeast batter. how lovely to have several inches of snow, no power outage, and fresh hot waffles!


and in other, other news, style blogs have become my favorite places on the internet to visit. i even found one that’s local; it’s fun to guess where all the locations are in their photos.

while i’m tempted to join the style blogging fray, this might be one internet group that i’ll just choose to lurk on, mostly. i’ve joined plenty of online groups in my time going back to the early 90’s and i’m not sure i have it in me to join another. plus, posting photos of myself all the time would just feel… vain, i guess.

somewhat related, fluevog has been running a series called “everyday shoes” via twitter and facebook; people who own lots of fluevogs post photos of themselves wearing a different pair every day for a month. these photos don’t usually include the wearer’s face, so if i had enough fluevogs, i could do that and it would be a fun challenge.

so, i have been asked many times how many fluevogs i have. well, that’s a trick question because i own at least one pair that i’ll never be able to wear comfortably (they’re a size too small, and i keep them on display at all times). there are a few pairs that require the attention of a good cobbler before they’ll be wearable again. but assuming i had those pairs repaired… well, i don’t quite have a month’s worth, although I almost have a non-leap February’s worth. I could do it if it were only weekdays, or if I recruited a couple of local pinch-hitters.

Southern Village field trip

I’ve developed a fascination with the new neighborhoods that are springing up that have a little village of shops and a green attached to fairly dense, uniform housing. We’ve spent a lot of time walking around Port Warwick in Newport News; on Sunday I proposed a field trip to Southern Village, about 30 minutes south of us, just outside of Chapel Hill.

I’m not sure what these neighborhoods are called; some seem to call them Master Planned Communities, and others just call them Mixed Use developments. Neither term quite seems to fit. A Master Planned Community seems to be more on the scale of a town or small city; Mixed Use mainly refers to zoning in urban areas. These places are not really urban.

Southern Village is older than Port Warwick and seems to have been executed better. There’s actually a grocery store (although I noted no pharmacy). There’s a movie theater, doctor’s offices and at least one gym. The eateries are more like what you’d see in a college town – cheaper, slice-of-pizza places. Port Warwick has nothing as practical as a gym or a grocery store; mainly upscale clothing stores for women and sit-down restaurants.

Both have predictable, smooth sidewalks that make walking easy – not like my old neighborhood that has heaved pavement waiting to trip you, or surprise you with a deep puddle, or that ends abruptly, dumping you out on the street in mid-stride. This is why I like walking in these places so much. They also feel extremely safe.

Jason asked me if I’d want to live in Southern Village. Even if we could afford a single family house (we can’t – the prices are astronomical) my answer would be no. It’s too far away from Durham and just didn’t feel right. “These are not my people,” he said, after reviewing the streets almost literally lined with Priuses. I had to agree.

Nevertheless, it’s an excellent place to take the dog. The walking is vigorous but not dangerous, and Reese is the center of attention while camped out at the entry to the grocery store.

The other day while walking around Oyster Point – just across the street from Port Warwick, and sort of a commercial sister to PW – we started imagining the planned community _we’d_ want to live in. Take a block of old buildings in downtown Durham and rehab them. Get the businesses we like on the ground floor – a good coffee shop, used book store, record store, etc. A rock club needs to go in there, some place where movies could also be shown. Get A/V Geeks to come in periodically. Take the 503 South idea, make it safe and pleasant, add residential on top of or around it. Make fast internet an included utility for the residential and blanket it with free wireless in the business areas. Require the residents to participate in a CSA program – rather than an HOA.

Anyway, until such a place magicks itself into existing, I suppose we will continue to explore the Durham sprawl for a new place to live, one day.

bull durham house is on the market

there was certainly a time when an elegant and completely overblown Victorian would have been my total fantasy house, but i’m more of a bungalow girl these days.

but if fantasy victorians are your thing, the house they used as susan sarandon’s house in “bull durham”:http://imdb.com/title/tt0094812/ is “on the market”:http://homes.realtor.com/prop/1080166525 and it can be yours for about $123/sq ft. you’ll also get to live _mere blocks_ from the charming english cottage o’ death which is, arguably, depending on the circles in which you move, the more famous of the two houses.

When the saints come marching into your neighborhood to sell you an ice cream novelty

So, I have this nice newly-furnished screen porch, and the weather is very pleasant, and this naturally leads to me sitting out here surfing and reading and eating lunch on the weekends and nice stuff like that.

This has in turn lead to the interesting discovery that my neighborhood must have an ice cream truck. An ice cream truck that plays “When the saints come marching in” over and over and over and over and…

At first, I thought one of the neighborhood kids had taken up the recorder and was practicing the same song over and over. Then I realized there was a doppler effect at work– the music would randomly get much louder from time to time. I realized it must be an ice cream truck.

How cool is that, that there’s an ice cream truck in my neighborhood? Once again, I feel as if I am living in Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. Well, some combination of Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.

On the other hand, how annoying is it to listen to “When the saints come marching in” over and over, every time I use my screen porch during daylight hours? Well… it’s pretty annoying.

Hey, at least I smell nice. Today’s BPAL: Nuclear Winter.

Get your picture taken at Durham Central Park

Ok, apparently there’s an art project/installation at Durham Central Park right now, due to be taken down on Sunday (I think). Not sure what the installation is about; the Old North Durham list has been more than i can keep up with lately. Apparently, there’s some controversy involved.

Anyway, some OND folks are interested in compiling a photo gallery of people who have their picture taken with the installation. I’ve set up some software that’s going to make it easy for them to put the gallery up on the web.

“Here’s the gallery.”:http://www.oldnorthdurham.org/gallery/

it includes info on where to mail photos if you have them taken.